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Comment: Re:You are looking for a PLC (Score 1) 189

by xtal (#48776533) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Options For Cheap Home Automation?

It's cheaper to get a modbus PLC by the time you add a case. As a bonus, the PLC has CSA and UL certifications, so when your house burns down, your insurance is still valid.

China solved this problem. A few minutes of research will get you a USB adapter, and you can easily program whatever you want with python or direct commands from a shell prompt and a cron job to schedule if you want to be all oldschool about it.

Comment: Video cards? (Score 1) 179

by xtal (#48580549) Attached to: LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES

Maybe this will drive some faster video cards.. I run 3 30" monitors (7680x1600); and while 2D and work productivity is no problem.. and, believe me, if you have the means I highly recommend picking them up - 3D surround gaming, even with SLI current-generation cards is a challenge.

What's even more impressive is how fast the 4K panels are dropping in price. Manufacturing FTW.

Comment: Re:Password protect your phone (Score 1) 105

by xtal (#48576333) Attached to: Canadian Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Warrantless Cellphone Searches

Actually, no.

If you have a proper password, the magic cables will not work on iOS. It doesn't take long to brute force a numeric 4 digit. It takes a lot longer if that gets complicated; of course, that's harder to use, too.

"I do not consent to any search of my vehicle or my person"

"Am I free to go or am I being detained?"

"I want to speak with an attorney"

Magic words. If police have probable cause they don't need to ask; use the magic words and it'll stay that way.

Comment: Great news for those of us with experience.. (Score 1) 226

by xtal (#48405849) Attached to: Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

I've gotten one hell of a return from my BSc. EE. Thankfully it's not being devalued, and as far as ROI goes, wow. Was it easy for me? F--k no. Things that are worthwhile rarely are easy.

Anyone who thinks these bootcamps are a substitute for theory training is a fool. They can make a great way to leverage that core knowledge, though. They're also great for churning out code monkeys. I don't want to be a monkey.

You know what's a substitute, though? -Free- books and training online on those academic topics. Marry that with a good, accredited lab work program and you're going to be onto something; I suspect, however, this will be targeted at a lower common denominator.

Democratizing forces will come to higher education as there's HUGE market inefficiencies there created by an artificial barrier. It's just a matter of time, or like I've said before, one of the Ivy league institutions to offer real credit in an online environment. Right now it's a big game of chicken to see who blinks first.

Comment: Genetic algorithms already there.. (Score 1) 77

by xtal (#48405779) Attached to: Magic Tricks Created Using Artificial Intelligence For the First Time

There's some magic tricks outside of the basic programming for you. Paper is linked in there or easily searchable, and is quite interesting.

And yes, there might be reason to start to get concerned. Disruptive changes happen quickly. Eventually, we will be the ones disrupted..

Comment: Re:Paper? (Score 2) 148

by xtal (#48382589) Attached to: Internet Voting Hack Alters PDF Ballots In Transmission

Do you know how this works?

The box goes out in the open. Everyone can watch things go in.

The count is done with several people. Observers can watch. That's how it's done in Canada. Really.

The whole process, if fraud is a concern, can be watched end-to-end. There is no opportunity for "extra slips".

Paper works and is AFAIK the hardest to game and has the most oversight. I question those who are so quick to get rid of it.

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse